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- Good morning (evening); everyone.

o And thank you for joining us to worship our God;

Once again.

I pray that the Lord will speak to each of us in this place.

In the language; that our heartswill understand.

- This morning (evening) were going to return to the Gospel of Matthew; Chapter 13.

o Last weekend, we began by looking at the parable of the sower.

Who went outto sow some seed

o I reminded us that Christ once said:

That man does not live on bread alone; but by every word that comes

from the mouth of God.

- Our God is the sower who puts his word into us.

o In many ways we may not be ready; to receive the word of God.

But our Lord is generous and wise

And he continues to sow into usin every corner of our lives.

And the Lords word is sure to find the good soil;

Hidingwithin us.

o I believe that our God is already speaking to every person; here.

If we would but chooseto listen!

- Each of the stories in Matthew Chapter 13;

o Are parables describing the natureof the Kingdom of God.

o Which Jesus refuses to give us simple, factual statements about;

Instead; Christ paints images with his words.


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And tells us many things in parables.

o He invites us to understand the Kingdom of God ourselves

And to experience firsthandthe power of God;

Changing us from the inside out.

o Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 4:20:

That the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk.

But of power

- Our reading today brings us to the second parable of Matthew Chapter 13.

o Well be reading verses 24-30

o As well as Romans 8:5-11.

The Bible tells us

- (That) Jesus told them; another parable (he said)

o The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sowed good seed;

o Into his field.

But while everyone was sleeping;

His enemy cameand sowed weeds; among the wheat

And thenwent away

- When the wheat sprouted; and formed heads

o Then the weeds also appeared.

The owners servants came to him and said;

Sir, didnt you sow good seed into your field?

Where thendid the weeds come from?

- An enemy did this the owner replied.


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o The servants said to him:

Do you want us to go out and pull up the weeds?

No. Replied the farmer;

Because while you are pulling out the weeds;

You may uprootthe wheat; along with them.

- Let them both grow together: until the harvest time.

o At that time; I will tell the harvesters: (to)

Firstcollect the weeds;

And tie them into bundles to be burned;

Thengather the wheat;

And bring it all into my barn.

- Turning to the book of Romans Chapter 8; Verses 5-11.

o The Scriptures tell us

- (That) those who live according to the flesh; have their minds set

o On what the flesh desires.

But those who live according to the Spirit; have their minds set

On what the Spirit desires.

- The mind governed by the fleshis death.

o But the mind governed by the Spirit;

Is life.

And peace.

o The mind governed by the fleshis hostile to God;

Because it does not submit to Gods law;


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Nor can it do so.

Those who are in the realm of the flesh; cannot please god.

- Youhowever.

o Are not in the realm of the flesh.

o But you are in the realm; of the Spirit;

If indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.

- And if anyone does not havethe Spirit of Christ.

o Then they do not belong to Christ.

But if Christ is in you!

Then even though your body is subject to death

Because of sin.

o The Spirit gives you life!

Because of righteousness.

- And if the Spirit of the one who raised Christfrom the dead;

o Is living within you:

Then the one who raised Jesus from the dead;

Will also give life to your mortal bodies

Because the same Spirit; is livinginside of you.

- Thanks be to Godfor these Scriptures.

o Given to us, this morning (evening).

o We pray these things; in the name of Jesus Christ.

Amen.

- My friends:
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o The parable of the sowerwhose field produces both wheat and weeds;

Seems to me to be a much less popular parable to preach on.

Than the one about the sower who casts his seed

Into several different types of soil.

- One of these two stories Ive heardtime & time again.

o While the other comes up occasionally.

o But it seems like; often.

People have very little to say

About the wheat and the weeds.

- Perhaps; in one sense.

o Because the parable seems to be telling us;

o About some far off judgment day.

When God will separate

The wheatfrom the weeds.

- And we need not concern ourselves greatly

o With what the parable is telling us; right now.

Of courselike many parables.

I dont think that this surface level reading.

Is a very good way of hearing what Christ; has to say.

- Rather than telling us about judgement day.

o I think that the parable of the wheat and the weeds;

o Is telling us about what the Kingdom of God is going

To look & to feel like;


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Right now

If its truly growing within us.

- In other words; I believe that the parable of the wheat and the weeds.

o Is telling us about a certain kindof Kingdom behavior.

That God is calling his servants towards today.

And what kind of behavior is that?

- I think that its clearest to see:

o Whenever we look at what kind of attitude.

o The farmer warns his servantsagainst; in the story.

- When the servants looked out into the field;

o And they saw some heads of grain

o That were starting to come up.

They also noticed; some weeds;

Mixed in among the wheat.

- And so; they decided to ask the farmer:

o Would you like us to go out

o And pull up those weeds?

- And Id like to point out for us

o That the servants question to farmer; is perfectly reasonable & rational.

If were growing a garden and theres some weeds

Growing upamong the plants.

It only makes sense to go out and weed our garden!

- The servants are only asking the farmer for permission.


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o To do what is already expected of them.

- But instead; the farmer gives his servants an answer

o That is entirely unexpected.

Instead; the farmer tells them

Dont you go weeding my field!

You have no idea; what youre doing.

o Youre inevitably going to pull out; some of the good wheat

Along with the bad weeds.

Leave my field alone!

And let them grow together.

- Again; this answer makes no senseto Jesuss audience.

o Why would we not weed the field?

o What kind of foolishness is that?

- Similarly; I think the church today

o More often gets this questionwrong.

o Than we get it right.

I often hear.

That we should love and accept; all people

Because were all children of God no matter how we sin.

- But very oftenthis kind of statement is loaded

o With a certain; connotation

That we all know what kind of people were talking about.

The ones who are obviously weeds; in the field.


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Those problem people out there; who are sinners!

Those are the ones that we must choose to accept

With the love of Christbecause theyre not one of us.

o Those people outside the church or even inside the church

Who demonstrate bad behavior

Or advocate things (that) we disagree with!

Those kinds of people are weeds.

And you dont want to be like them.

Even thoughwe should still treat them nicely

- Do you think thats the kind of attitude that Jesus is calling us towards?

o In Matthew Chapter 13?

- I think that Jesus is telling us; something far more dramatic than that.

o I think that (the Lord) is sayingthat we truly have no idea!

o What makes someone look like a wheat or a weedin the first place.

Even if we choose not: to treat someone poorly;

We oftenstill make judgements about them

Based upon their outward appearance.

- We often look out into the field andwe see what we think

o Are the good peopleand the bad;

o The wheat and weeds

We make judgements about others!

And we decide who we think belongs in our group;

And who doesnt.


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- We have a very tribalistic understanding of the world.

o And it makes perfectlogical sense:

To judge who is good; and who is bad.

Who is wrong! And who is right.

- But maybe; in Matthew Chapter 13:

o Jesus is telling us that the logic of our worldis actually wrong!

We dont get to decide who is producing fruit;

And who isnt

o We dont have that goodof vision:

We dont see the inside; of people.

We only see the outside.

- In Romans Chapter 8:

o The Apostle Paul reminds us

That those who live according to the flesh.

Are unable to please God.

o We will all fall short in becoming holybased purely; upon our actions.

The more we try to earn righteousness in Christ

The further we fall from it.

o But gracecomes from the Holy Spirit;

Who lives inside of us;

In the places that no one can see.

- We have no idea what the Holy Spirit is doing inside other people;

o Because we cant see into them!


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But perhaps we do know what the Holy Spirit is doing

Inside of us.

At leastto some limited extent.

o Because we know if our minds are filled

With the pride and arrogance of the servantsin Matthew 13.

We know if were choosing to judge others;

Based upon their appearances!

Or if were choosing to view people with hope; instead.

- Peter 3:9 says: (that)

o God is patient with you!

Not wanting anyone to perish;

But everyone to come to repentance!

- We should likewise choose to see others:

o Through the same lens of grace; that our God provides.

Rather than through the lens of judgment;

Based upon what we thinkothers already done wrong..

- Right now the Kingdom is in a state of flux and transformation.

o Good and evil are pushing and pulling against each other.

Theres weeds and theres fruit

And its all mixed up!

And theres no way to untangle it; for the moment.

o But God says: Let them all grow together.

And well sort it out in the end!


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You dont need to be worried about who is in and who is out.

Of the Kingdom. Thats not your job!

- My servants invite others;

o Rather than excluding them.

o My servants hope for the best;

o Rather than judging; and assuming the worst.

They open doors into the Kingdom.

Rather than putting up; wallsto keep people out.

- Therefore; the Apostle Paul writesin Romans 14: [13, 18, & 19]

o Let us stop! Passing judgment on one another.

Instead, make up your mindsnot to put any stumbling block or any

obstacle in the way of a brother or a sister.

o For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating or drinking;

But of righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit

o Let us therefore make every effort;

To do what leads to peace;

And to mutual edification.

- I know that we cant fully control our judgmental instincts;

o From time to time.

After all; we still need to distinguish for ourselves

What is good from what is evil;

But we dont need to decide for God

Who is good; or who is evil.


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- And in fact whenever we choose to start judging others:

o To start deciding: who is & is not a partof the Kingdom.

Perhaps thats exactly the kind of attitude that makes us into a weed

(ourselves).

A poison in the field rather than a light.

- I pray that all of us will be able to become servants of God.

o Who tend the Lords field with compassion;

People who offer hope; instead of judgement.

And peace; instead of conflict.

o May God give us grace to become wheat;

Rather than weeds.

- If you would join me in prayer this morning (evening).


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- O Gracious & Mighty God!

o We lean upon your wisdom and your judgement;

o Now more than ever!

- O Lord, we pray that you will give us:

o A clarity of spirit and of heart

So that we might become a people of peace.

Who share your hoperather than our own foolish judgements

About other people.

- Give us clean hands and a pure heart;

o O God, we pray:

o In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord & King;

O Holy God;

Amen.